The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday trimmed its global oil demand forecast for this year as fresh COVID-19 lockdowns cloud the outlook, but said that mass vaccination programs should help bolster a second-half rebound.
“Global oil demand is expected to recover by 5.5 mb/d [million barrels per day] to 96.6 mb/d in 2021, following an unprecedented collapse of 8.8 mb/d in 2020,” the IEA said in its latest monthly report.
“For now, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases is slowing the rebound, but a widespread vaccination effort and an acceleration in economic activity is expected to spur stronger growth in the second half of the year,” it said.
“This recovery mainly reflects the impact of fiscal and monetary support packages, as well as the effectiveness of steps to resolve the pandemic,” it added.
The IEA said that it now expected demand in the first quarter of this year to be 0.6 million barrels per day less than previously forecast, with the full-year outcome revised down by 0.3 million barrels per day.
On the supply side, the IEA said that after “falling by a record 6.6 mb/d in 2020, world oil supply is set to rise by over 1.0 mb/d this year.”
“There may be scope for higher growth given our expectations for further improvement in demand,” the IEA added.
It said that its forecasts assume that in the second half of this year, OPEC+ — OPEC members plus non-cartel producers, principally Russia — would continue to rein in output, withholding 5.8 million barrels per day of oil from the market in line with their agreement in April last year.
The IEA said that OPEC+ has recently adopted a more flexible stance and would be meeting regularly to assess output levels.
Oil prices have risen in recent weeks on hopes the global economy would get back on track later this year.
The IEA said these higher prices could “provide an incentive to increase production by the US shale industry, which saw the biggest fall in output last year.”
However, shale producers appear set to stick with promises to keep output largely flat so as not to jeopardize prices.
“If they stick to those plans, OPEC+ may start to reclaim the market share it has steadily lost to the US and others since 2016,” the IEA said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) largest customer accounted for 25 percent of its total revenue last year. Analysts believe the unnamed company to be Apple Inc. The world’s largest contract chipmaker generated NT$336.78 billion (US$11.9 billion) in consolidated sales from its largest customer last year, accounting for about 25 percent of the total, financial data provided by TSMC showed. With TSMC believed to be the sole processor supplier for Apple’s iPhone 12, analysts said the largest customer is likely the US consumer electronics giant, which drove the chipmaker’s sales growth. TSMC did not identify the customer. TSMC last year posted
RECRUITMENT: The latest hiring drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday unveiled a plan to hire 9,000 people this year in the latest round of recruitment as the chipmaker races to boost capacity to alleviate a chip crunch and safeguard its technology advantage. TSMC’s talent recruitment this year might be the most ambitious in its history, while last year’s drive of 8,000 added recruits doubled the 4,000 new hires that it averaged over the preceding few years. The latest drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said. The
CHASING AFTER THE US: China is scrambling to cut its dependence on the West for crucial components such as computer chips, an issue that has become more urgent China pledged to boost spending and drive research into cutting-edge chips and artificial intelligence (AI) in its latest five-year targets, laying out a technological blueprint to vie for global influence with the US. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) singled out key areas in which to achieve “major breakthroughs in core technologies,” including high-end semiconductors, operating systems, computer processors and cloud computing — areas in which US firms now hold sway. Beijing would also aim to get 56 percent of the country on faster 5G networks. Nationwide research and development spending is to increase by more than 7 percent annually, which “is expected to
GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers, yesterday said that it has acquired a 70.27 percent stake in German competitor Siltronic AG, in a public bid that ended four days ago. With the acquisition of a controlling stake in Siltronic, the Taiwanese company is to become the world’s second-largest silicon wafer supplier. Last month, GlobalWafers secured more than 50 percent of Siltronic shares with an offer of 4.35 billion euros (US$5.2 billion) in a public tender that was due to end on Feb. 10, but the acceptance period was extended until Monday. In a statement released yesterday, the Hsinchu-based